Zenon lights- comments ? - Martin

hi All

I have been driven in a car with these Zenon lights and was very impressed with the dipped beam performance so started to think about retrofitting them to our current Golf3 estate.

There appear to be auto-bulbs from Philips & Bosch that claim to be Zenon ( circa £20 ) from Halfords but I notice that Mercedes, BMW & VW want six or seven hundred quid for Zenons as an option.

Now VW are offering "bi-Zenons" on the new Passatt just to add to my confusion

There is a firm that advertises in VW Driver offering "real" Zenon gas lamp conversions but they want about £300.

Anyone got the real info on this ?



"blinded by the light" as the song goes....
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Gwyn Parry
a headlamp bulb blew (main) on my Vectra, which has always suffered from poor lights on dip, so I decided to experiment. I bought a pair of Philips All Weather Bulbs from Halfords (19.99) and installed them - result was a rather yellow light but a slight improvment (difficult to quantify) - anyway a few weeks later I upgraded the dips with Halfords "Laser Blue"(cost as far as I recall was 23.00) this was a vast improvment
on the original and provide a whiter light and blend the yellow of the AWBs on main to give a purer light. Result of experiment was that the AWBs will be ditched (in due course when one blows - could be another 4 years of course) and replaced with the Laser Blues.
As you are probably aware there have been extensive threads on the benefits of upgrading to Xenon lights and I have dismissed that on the grounds of cost alone.
However when I change my car (I plan to buy an A3 in the next 18 months or so) I will probably specify the otptional Xenons £500.-00 when i last looked.
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Andrew Tarr
Just as a matter of interest - why are you prepared to add £500 to a new car, but not spend £23 straight away for Laser blues?
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Gwyn Parry
'cos i just spent £20.00 on the AWBs and am fundamentaly a skinflint, also I may not have clarified that as and when I change my car I will be driving more often after dark (due to change in job) I currently drive mainly (sic) in the day - the timetable for job change is unclear at the present and I will not be upgrading my motor until I have changed jobs, cos due to the areas I find myself parking even a P reg Vectra is seen as conspicous consumption !
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - David Lacey
The blue light given off by these Xenon gas-disharge lamps fitted to higher spec cars nowadays (and Police cars making them much easier to spot!) is far superior to the 'bulb' type lamps. The beam pattern seems to far more defined and accurate. It might be just me, but I don't think they seem to dazzle oncoming cars so much.
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Andrew Bairsto
Tests in Germany by TUV(Type approval) found the after market lights to be of know extra benifit caused dazeling and are illegal in the fact that it is not permitted to change the spec of your car without it being TUV inspected and added to your log book.If you fit these bulbs and travel to mainland Europe and a nice police officer who has had a bad night just might book you especially in the many spot checks that now take place),demand you ghange your bulbs and leave you with a hefty onthe spot fine.That is why factory fitted option is so expensive it is a Tuv approved product .My son has just been fined 100dm car impounded till he changed back to the original spec bulbs.
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Jonathan
But if they (foreigners) drive through our speed camera traps too fast they get no fine...

Its about time that the systems were equalised a bit.
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Andrew Bairsto
Converselly you would not get fined driving throw a radar trap in Germany
regards Andy Bairsto
Re: Zenon lights- No dazzle? - Stuart Bruce
David Lacey wrote:
> It might be just me, but I don't think they seem to
> dazzle oncoming cars so much.

C&U regs require that Xenon Gas Discharge lights if not fitted to a car with self levelling suspension, have to have their own auto self levelling system as standard. This is because they are so sodding bright and the cut off is so sharp and if they were misaligned due to loaded car/towing etc then oncoming traffic would be blinded.

This might explain some of the high upgrade cost.
Re: Zenon lights- No dazzle? - Jeremy Swift
I gave up cycling at night because the increased dazzle from these modern headlights made a spill over the invisible kerb or worse pretty much inevitable.

Sharp cutoff is all very well but it doesn't allow for curvature of the road or bumps and potholes which means that half the time car lights point higher than the average they are set for - and self-levelling only evens out the effect of weight distribution, not the changes of surface orientation.

Increased brightness may give you a better view, but they worsen the view for oncoming traffic. Net effect on road safety? Probably negative (especially as with the brighter view you probably travel faster, concentrate less...)

I seem to recall about twenty years ago there was a legal limit on headlamp brightness. Whatever happened to that?

And don't get me started on the bastards who've lost the use of their dipswitch or those who only turn off their foglights in fog!
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Nicholas Moore
Sorry to be a complete pain, but isn't it 'xenon' not 'zenon', i.e. the gaseous element?
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - David Lacey
Ah----yes - you are right Nicholas, it should be xenon - obtained by distillation of liquid air........ I spelt it correctly in thread no4 but missed the deliberate mistake!
Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - John Slaughter
There's no doubt the aftermarket higher brightness xenon bulbs work well, and I reckon they are worth the money. However, they are a 'standard' tungsten halogen bulb with a different gas in the capsule. I imagine this allows the filament to run a little hotter. However, they are a completely different product to the £500 xenon headlamps used in a number of modern cars. These work on a completely different principle, being gas discharge lamps, not filament lamps. Whether they are retrofittable Idon't know, but it woulsd be a major exercise.


Re: Zenon lights- comments ? - Chris
I know someone who is epileptic, and she fitted while a passenger in a car on a dark country road just after two or three cars had gone past the other way. She claims it was "those blue lights people have these days". She doesn't drive, but there will be undiagnosed epileptics out there who do. Anyone else heard of the possibility of a strobe effect (caused by xenon lights, stiff suspension and a rough road)?

Value my car